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Showing posts from 2013

My First Attempt at making Gluten Free and Dairy Free Pastry

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I've been experimenting with the Namaste Food's Perfect Flour Blend to see how a pastry would come out. Since I had an issue with the margarine, I decided to use Grapeseed oil. Next time I try making pastries, I will use the coconut oil. I made something similar to Poptarts and I used Del Mano's Guava Jelly for the filling. I bought the Jelly at the Upmarket. They came out okay-ish. The pastry dough kept falling apart when I was trying to roll out the dough. After I made the tarts, they cracked a bit and the Jelly also leaked from the sides because they weren't sealed properly. The taste was cool, the jelly was awesome but the flour gave the pastry a grainy texture. I got one of my family members to try out one and she liked them but she noticed the grainy texture too. I think the gluten free flours tend to have a different texture from wheat flours so it is something I have to get used to.

Margarine caused an Allergic Reaction

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On Sunday, I made some Coconut Drops and they came out great. The only new ingredient that I used was the Cookeen Margarine but I’ve been getting some allergic reactions after I ate a lot of them. I’ve reached to the point where my eyes get itchy and swollen 30 minutes after I eat them. My skin has been getting pretty bad as well. I bought the margarine because when I read the ingredients it looked safe enough. 
Here is the ingredients list: Vegetable oils, Interesterified Vegetable Oils (Blend: 60% Palm Kernel / 40% Palm Oil), Water, Emulsifier (Vegetable), Potassium Sorbate, Citric Acid.

I should’ve known better because Blue Band also makes products with dairy. It was a personal experiment so I’ve learned my lesson ^_^. Thank god it wasn’t enough to affect my throat or breathing. Someone commented on my Coconut drops recipe that the margarine is not dairy-free. After eating it for 3 days now I am feeling the ill effects lol. I am not a pro at baking so that was why I wanted to get ma…

Coconut Drops – Gluten Free Recipe

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Coconut Drops are a common baked treat found in bakeries in Trinidad and Tobago. I miss them a lot so I decided to make some. I used the Long Time Coconut Drops recipe from The Multi-Cultural Cuisine of Trinidad & Tobago & The Caribbean cookbook from Naparima Girls’ High School. I substituted the flour with the Perfect Flour Blend from Namaste Foods. I bought this flour from Be Free Foods. The flour could also be ordered Amazon. The Coconut Drops came out great, the texture and taste was good. I kept the recipe simple. Next time, I will add raisins or sultanas with less sugar so it would not be too sweet.

Gluten Free Makeup or Cosmetics in Trinidad and Tobago

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When I started my gluten free diet, I avoided lipstick and lipgloss to avoid getting “glutened”. For most of this year, I’ve been using lip balm, the Blistex Simple and Sensitive. I bought the Blistex at the Starlite Pharmacy. It is hypoallergenic and very moisturizing.

There are natural lip gloss, lip tints and lip shimmers from brands such as Burt’s Bees and the Naked Bee in local stores. I’ve seen the Burt’s Bees Lip Gloss and Tinted Lip Balm and the Naked Bee’s Natural Lip Color in the Starlite Pharmacy. Of course I bought some to test out. They are not opaque so they all basically add a tint to your lips. The Naked Bee was a bit brighter in colour than the Burt’s Bees. I got the Burt’s Bees Lip Shimmer and another Lip Gloss from Live Green on Ariapita Avenue. They have a larger collection of natural makeup. Burt’s Bees and Naked Bee makeup are not certified gluten free. One day, I’ll try to get gluten free certified makeup from one of these brands: Red Apple Lipstick, Afterglow …

Misleading Claim caused a Gluten Attack

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A friend of mine recently got "glutened" after sampling some food at an event, Bits and Pieces at Movietowne. It was one of the vendors that was responsible for this, not the management of the event. After asking questions about the crab backs and if they had any fillers or wheat, the vendor who made them said that they have 100% crab meat with no fillers. My friend tried them and she got sick an hour later and contacted the individual to find out if they were really gluten free. The person eventually mentioned that she used breadcrumbs but the crab backs would only have 1/4 tsp and that shouldn't cause a reaction since some of her gluten free friends did not get sick. This person could have made a person with a serious wheat allergy very sick. A person with Celiac Disease react to traces of gluten. A 1/4 tsp is way more than a trace, it is torture. The maximum amount of gluten allowed in food is 20 ppm, that is approximately 0.01997718 grams. There are people who still…

Curried Goat and Potatoes Recipe

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Today is Divali and I decided to make some East Indian food like curried goat and potatoes. For the curry, I used a hand blended curry from Abundant Harvest & Tropickle Foods. I bought the curry at the Upmarket.

How to buy safe Gluten Free Food in Supermarkets and Gourmet Stores?

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When buying a product labelled Gluten-free, check for the certification. This ensures that it has been tested for gluten and was given the seal of approval. These are the major Gluten Free Certifications from the Celiac Sprue Association, Gluten Intolerance Group, Canadian Celiac Association, National Foundation for Celiac Awareness,.Quality Assurance International. Most of the imported gluten free products in Trinidad and Tobago are from North America. The maximum amount of gluten allowed in products certified by CSA is 5ppm while GIG, CCA and QAI allow 10ppm. The FDA considers 20ppm safe so CSA, GIG, CCA and QAI have really high standards. Read more about the testing methods in this chart by Tricia Thompson, MS, RD. According to Anderson, gluten free does not mean it is totally free of gluten, there could be some traces. There are people who are very sensitive and could react to this. USA, Canada and some EU countries consider products with 20ppm or less gluten as gluten free. Clic…

Double Chocolate Chip Banana Popsicles (Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Soy Free)

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Personally, these are the best popsicles or frozen dessert that I’ve made so far. I think I’ll be making these more often. Next time, I’ll use the recipe with an ice cream maker and see if the texture would become more like ice-cream. I got the chocolate chips from Be Free Foods and the Vanilla extract from Live Green.

My 2013 Birthday Party with Gluten Free and Dairy Free Chocolate Cupcakes

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My birthday was on the 4th of August and I wanted to do something different this year, especially with food. I usually go to Movietowne to watch a movie and eat sushi. There are very few things that I could eat with a gluten-free and dairy free diet in most restaurants. This year, I went to a gaming center, Bedrock Minigolf and Gaming Center and I was able to bring my food. I had ordered normal sandwiches from a bakery for my friends since they do not eat gluten free. I made gluten free and dairy free chocolate cupcakes with King Arthur Chocolate Cake Mix Flour. I bought this cake mix from Be Free Foods. I decorated the cupcakes with homemade icing and Enjoy Life Semi-sweet Chocolate Chips from Be Free Foods. I need to make some improvements on the icing since it melted easily. All my friends, even the owner of the gaming center, loved the cupcakes and couldn't tell the difference between the normal and gluten-free ones. I had much more fun this year since I didn't have to wo…

Gluten Free Diet and It's Popularity

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I’m just going to share my thoughts on the gluten free diet and its increase in popularity. I’m grateful that there are more places offering gluten free food in Trinidad and Tobago but there needs to be more education on the reasons why the gluten free diet exists in the first place. I’ve noticed this pattern recently, from hearing people talk and reading the random articles about non-celiac people going gluten free and their main reason is to lose weight or to become healthy. I’ve never considered the gluten foods such as wheat, barley or rye as unhealthy foods. They are actually really good for you if you get them in the right form. If you want to eat healthier avoid refined grains and go for whole grains. If your goal is to lose weight and you do not suffer from a medical condition that needs to be treated with a gluten free diet, you could do the following: lower your carbs, eat more fruits and veggies and exercise more.

Hi-Lo Food Stores Article about Gluten-Free Diet and Celiac Disease

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I recently received the Savour Magazine, Issue 3 from Hi-lo Food Stores. I found an interesting article about the Gluten-Free Diet and Celiac Disease. It is nice to see more information about the Gluten-Free Lifestyle being spread publicly. I also hope people would learn that it is not a diet created to lose weight. In the article, there is also a list of all the Gluten-Free products that are available at the Hi-Lo Food Stores. I like that Hi-lo is making an effort to bring more Gluten-Free Products but not all stores are equal. I noticed that the Westmoorings Branch has a lot more Gluten-Free Products than the one in Starlite Shopping Center, in Diego Martin. The Starlite Hi-lo also stopped stocking the Gluten-Free Cereals and it is rare to see the large boxes of Silk Almond Milk.
Click Here to See all the Locations of Hi-Lo Food Stores.